MANILA, Philippines - Acknowledging the role of exclusive breastfeeding in saving children's lives, the Department of Health (DOH) launched last Wednesday an exclusive breastfeeding campaign dubbed "Breastfeeding TSEK: (Tama, Sapat, Eksklusibo)."
The campaign aims to encourage mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies from birth up to 6 months.
That means nothing but breast milk (no water, liquids, infant formula or food) for the entire 6 months from the baby's birth.
At 6 months, the babies are then ready for complementary food while continuing to be breastfed up to 2 years.
According to the DOH, breastfeeding has many health benefits, among them lower risk of diarrhea, pneumonia, and chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes throughout their lifetimes.
The campaign is targeted toward new and expectant mothers initially in highly urbanized areas.
It also hopes to create a supportive community--from family, employers, health care providers and peers--for "exclusive breastfeeding" mothers.
In launching the campaign, the DOH hopes the country will move closer to attaining its Millennium Development Goals on child health.
It also aims to revive the strong breastfeeding movement in 1986, the time the Milk Code (EO 51) or the National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplements and Related Products was signed into law by then President Corazon Aquino.